Ivan Ilyin was one of the hundreds of intellectuals sent packing in 1922 aboard one of the “Philosophers Ships.” He first settled in Berlin and became a university professor. Although he initially lavished praise on the Nazi Party and celebrated its rise, his attitude changed after he ran afoul of Hitler and was relieved of his professorial duties.
Ilyin left Germany and spent the remainder of his life in Switzerland, where he became the chief ideologue for the All-Russian Military Union (ROVS). It was intended to be a fighting force of White Russians ready to resume the war with the Bolsheviks when circumstances allowed.
Ilyin produced many tomes that crystallized the philosophical underpinnings of the White movement. But the ROVS withered and eventually became little more than a White Russian version of the American Legion. Ilyin too faded into obscurity and irrelevance. He died in 1954 at the age of 70.
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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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